Thursday, January 11, 2007

"Pretty Things"


I watched a show on HBO Wednesday night called "Pretty Things", about old-time burlesque strippers. The show was written by Liz Goldwyn, who also appeared in it. They had clips from performances, old and new interviews with the dancers and some musicians who played for the burlesque shows. It was very interesting to see some of their old costumes and be shown how they worked with various outfits. Some of them talked about how they got ideas for their acts, or that they were determined to be perceived as "ladies" and not to be considered tacky. That amused me, since one of them used a snake in her act and simulated having s*x relations with it.

One of the most interesting facets of the show was learning some of the women's personal histories, which were sad, for the most part. Many of them were orphans; either by death or by abandonment, and most of them started stripping by the time they were fourteen. That was not by choice, most explained, but they were forced into it by family members, or because they had no other skills.

If you are interested in reading about these women, check out this link:
and if you have access to HBO, I highly recommend this show.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love how, as of late, HBO has been a bastion of excellent television when the networks take months off from semi-decent scripted programs and throw and endless array of unscripted garbage at viewers.

srp said...

We don't get HBO, my folks don't watch a channel long enough to make it worth the money. Dad is the king of the clicker and Mom isn't much better. It is most amusing when they both have one and start dueling. I'll go to my room now!

Angie said...

I always have prefered the Vargas pin-ups. I want to be a Vargas girl.

Becky68 said...

What a great sounding show, the link was fascinating, I wanted to stop back by & thank you for commenting on my blog earlier, yes, the cat has been known to snatch pieces of chicken out of the crockpot, I have pictures of her with her front paws on the lid rocking it to get it to tip on one side so she can 'reach' in with a paw & snag some meat.

Anonymous said...

The loving wife and I watched this a while back and both loved it. The old photos and clothes the ladies kept were unbelievable.

Beverly said...

Oh, that sounds interesting. I'll check out that link.

Anonymous said...

FYI Goldwyn published a book last fall with the same name, Pretty Things. It has a lot of amazing photos and lots of info on the costume design, performance and 5 key queens, Betty Rowland, Dian Rowland, Lois de Fee, Zorita and June St Clair—I highly reccommend it!

PI said...

I've been seeing a lot of photos of brains recently and this reminds me of a cutie curling up to a giant brain. Strange!

Carmi said...

Thank you for this, Judy. I've always been fascinated by art forms long gone, and burlesque has always struck me as one that history simply misunderstood.

Your synopsis confirms it, and I look forward to following the link and learning more.